The bodies of the 20 foreign victims of Tuesday’s Mestre bus crash will be repatriated very quickly, Venice Prefect Michele Di Bari said on Friday.
On Tuesday, 21 people – nine Ukrainians, four Romanians, three Germans, two Portuguese, one Croatian, one South African and the Italian bus driver – died after a tourist bus travelling from the centre of Venice to a camping site plunged from an overpass above a railway line between the Venice districts of Mestre and Marghera. The bus then burst into flames.
The Venice Prefect Di Bari said, “I believe that the time frame for repatriation will be very short,” he told reporters.
“The documents are being prepared, by tomorrow evening all the bodies will have been reassembled and will be in the Mestre hospital morgue, and at that point, it is right they be transferred”.
“I suggested waiting until tomorrow (Saturday) because tomorrow some family members will arrive in Mestre and should have the chance to see their loved ones for the last time,” he added.
Venice prosecutors had docs on state of overpass for more than a year
Documentation on the poor state of the overpass in Mestre had been with Venice prosecutors for over a year, the local Gazzettino newspaper reported on Saturday.
The paper said the files had been acquired by the judicial authorities following media reports on the state of the structure and statements by the Venice city councillor for public works, Renato Boraso, calling for urgent intervention.
It is not clear whether any further action was taken.
The reasons for the Mestre bus crash are still unclear. One hypothesis is that the driver, allegedly an experienced professional, had a bad turn while at the wheel.
However, doubts have also been raised about the state of the overpass, particularly the guardrail.